College Students Across the Country Take Action to Raise Awareness on America’s Fiscal Challenges

Jan 21, 2014

Contact: Christina Saull, (202) 518-6480

Second Annual Up to Us Campus Competition Kicks Off — Students Take their Economic Future into their Own Hands

Up To Us

WASHINGTON, DC — Following a year of national discussion on America’s federal budget and long-term debt, today students from across the country are taking matters into their own hands. As part of the second year of the Up to Us initiative, student teams from 24 colleges and universities are launching innovative, creative and thought-provoking campus campaigns focused on fiscal issues. The campaigns will run for five weeks and are designed to educate and engage their peers on the effects of the nation’s rising debt and motivate action in Washington on fiscal issues. The team with the most successful campaign will be recognized in March at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) annual meeting in Phoenix.

"After last year’s successful Up to Us competition, I look forward to seeing the unique campaigns that the students execute this year," said President Clinton. "The more than 1,000 young people who will gather at CGI U 2014 represent the next generation of leaders, and I’m glad that the Up to Us competition will encourage them to effect change today."

The Up to Us competition is a project of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), and Net Impact. Participating student teams will use innovative strategies for their campaigns, including convening top leaders and policy experts for lectures and debates on today’s pressing fiscal issues, working with local high schools to educate students on debt, and sending student petitions to local elected officials calling on them to address our long-term fiscal challenges.

"Young people have the most to gain or lose in the determination of America’s fiscal and economic future, which is why it’s so important for them to be active and engaged in these issues," said Peter G. Peterson, founder and chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. "The Up to Us initiative gives motivated students the chance to make a difference and raise awareness of an issue that is critical to their futures. A growing movement of millennial voices is a key part of solving one of the most significant challenges facing our nation."

In addition to being recognized by President Clinton at this year’s CGI U annual student meeting, the winning team will be awarded a $10,000 cash prize. $2,500 prizes will be awarded to teams who excel in selected areas, including civic engagement and social media.

The universities represented by the student teams participating in the competition are:

  • Bellarmine University
  • Belmont University
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • Duke University
  • George Washington University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Luther College
  • Miami University
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Pace University
  • Rice University
  • The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
  • Tufts University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Michigan
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Texas, Pan American
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College

"I’ve been amazed by the thoughtfulness and creativity of the 24 students teams during the campaign development process,” said Liz Maw, Chief Executive Officer of Net Impact. “I have no doubt they will showcase their breakthrough ideas through dynamic campus campaigns, rallying their peers to engage on issues of fiscal sustainability."

More information about the competition can be found at

About Up to Us
Up to Us, a nationwide campus competition sponsored and managed by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative University and Net Impact, provides an opportunity for students to build a movement to raise awareness and engagement on America’s long-term fiscal and economic challenges. Twenty-four student teams selected from across the country compete to design and run thought-provoking, fun and impactful campaigns around the effects of rising debt on economic opportunity and America’s future.

About the Peter G. Peterson Foundation
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established by Pete Peterson — businessman, philanthropist and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The Foundation is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the nature and urgency of key long-term fiscal challenges threatening America's future and to accelerating action on them. To address these challenges successfully, we work to bring Americans together to find and implement sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real results. To learn more, please visit

About CGI U
The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) brings together college students to address global challenges with practical, innovative solutions. CGI U participants do more than simply discuss problems – they take concrete steps to solve them by creating action plans, building relationships, participating in hands-on workshops, and following up with CGI U as they complete their projects. Since 2008, students have made more than 4,000 Commitments to Action. Previous CGI U meetings have taken place at Tulane University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Miami, the University of California at San Diego, the George Washington University, and Washington University in St. Louis, and have convened more than 5,500 students from over 800 schools, 130 countries, and all 50 states. To learn more, visit

About Net Impact
Net Impact is the leading nonprofit that inspires a new generation to use their careers to tackle the world's toughest social and environmental problems. We empower student and professional leaders to act locally through our vibrant chapter network and connect globally online and through our flagship conference. By 2020, we will mobilize a million new leaders to drive positive change in the workplace and the world.

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